Cervical spondylosis also known as cervical osteoarthritis and degenerative osteoarthritis refers to the deterioration of the vertebrae and discs in the neck as we get older- specifically,the cervical spine, which is the section of spine in the neck. When people get older ,they start to lose moisture and elasticity in the soft tissues of the back, tendons, ligaments and esp. the gel filled cartilage pads ( discs) that act as cushions between vertebrae. As these discs dry out,they became more fragile and cracks and fissures can form. Simply, it is a degenerative condition that affects the vertebrae and soft tissues in the cervical portion of spine .The egdes of the vertebrae often develop small rough areas of bone called as osteophytes. It can lead to bouts of stiffness and neck pain.
Cervical spondylosis with radiculopathy
It is defined as a cervical nerve root (a nerve in the neck area of the spine) that has become compressed and is sending radiating symptoms and distress signals through out the neck and upper extremities along the entire path of nerve branches. The symptoms include pain ,tingling, numbness and muscle weakness, etc. Cervical nerve root can become compressed for a variety of reasons.,the majority of which involve degenerative changes to bone or tissue over time. Eg. herniated disc, bulging disc, bone spurs, and spinal stenosis.
Signs and symptoms - Cervical spondylosis
In most cases, patients just experience a pain in the neck and a bit of stiffness and perhaps the occasional head ache.
Neck pain- the pain may spread , reaching the shoulders and the base of skull. Pain gets worse when the head is moved . The pain can reach head and arms.Neck stiffness-more common after a long period of Inactivity ( sleep).
Headaches-generally start at the back of head and gradually move to upper half of the front.
Others- rarely, bladder function problems, coordination difficulty. Weak arms and legs. Lack of dexterity.
When brain is affected. , blood supply to brain affected which results in dizziness and even black outs
Dysphagia- Rare swallowing difficulty when the bones press against esophagus.
Causes of cervical spondylosis
Multiple reasons are there.
1.Aging- the most common cause of spondylosis. Natural wear and tear of the body begins to break down the spine, causing spinal discs to lose water and become more brittle.
3.Obesity- carrying extra weight on your frame increases load that the spine has to bear, accelerating the wear and tear.
4.Previous neck injury or trauma
5.Long term activities such as carrying axial loads,professional dancing, gymnastics may contribute to higher risk.
7.Smoking may also increase the risk of developing cervical spondylosis.
Ayurvedic treatments of cervical spondylosis-
In Ayurveda. , the traditional panchakarma treatments are the best to reduce neck pain and disc compression. .The treatments are aimed at
- Reducing the inflammation in tissues
- Increasing blood circulation to the area
- Correction of calcium metabolism.
Severe and chronic cases of spondylitis require panchakarma treatments.
The treatments given for cervical spondylosis include Abhyangam, patrapotalaswedam, lepanam,Sirodhara, shashtika pinda swedam, Kayasekam, greeva pichu,greeva vasti.etc